Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature 6-\x80\x9312
  • 6:  6th Grade
  • 1: 
    Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what
    the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn
    from the text.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature 6-12
  • 6:  6th Grade
  • 3: 
    Describe how a particular story'\x80\x99s or drama'\x80\x99s plot
    unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the
    characters respond or change as the plot moves
    toward a resolution.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • W:  Writing Standards 6-12
  • 6:  6th Grade
  • 4: 
    Produce clear and coherent writing in which
    the development, organization, and style are
    appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
    (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are
    defined in standards 1-\x80\x933 above.)

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Taking a Leap into Blogging
Lesson Objective: Engage with literature through blogging
Grades 5-8 / ELA / Blogging
ELA.RL.6.1 | ELA.RL.6.3 | ELA.W.6.4

Thought starters

  1. How does Maria go about learning to blog and teach blogging?
  2. How does this lesson help students make progress towards Common Core standards in both reading and writing?
  3. What scaffolding does Maria have in place to ensure student success with blogging?
This is so doable! Your students were very interested, engaged, talking to each other, and writing! You hit so many standards! You dived right in to something new with great success!
Recommended (1)
Thank you Maria. I am really inspired watching you work on Blogs with your students. I am a mathematics facilitator and would encourage my teachers to start using technology in their math class with their students.
Recommended (1)
I LOVE this SO MUCH! I just recently resigned teaching third grade to go back to school but am applying for different jobs in at area. If I get one, I'm DEFINITELY going to try it. I teacher low elementary but think with a lot of time, modeling and practicing the students could do it. I would just provide a lot of structure that they'd need. We, as educators, need to realize that students ARE (and should be ) connected and to truly engage them, we need to embrace it and meet them where they are. If we can show them that the internet (their iphones and x-boxes) aren't simply just for Google or to play games, we can really open up a new world to them. It's really unfortunate when teachers aren't willing to try new things and opt for the "old school" techniques and methods. But not you. You're a role model who is willing to learn and go outside your comfort zone to show students, "it's ok." Kudos. :)
Recommended (1)
Thank you so much for sharing your learning process with us. I tried blogging in my classroom last year, but I don't think we were prepared enough to be truly successful. You have inspired me to try again. I only wish school was in session now so I could get started! I guess this gives me time to start writing my own blog ;)
Recommended (1)
I have been wondering for the past couple of years how blogging worked for the classroom. This gave me a new perspective on using this in my class.
Recommended (1)


  • Taking a Leap into Blogging Transcript

    Maria: My name is Maria Perryman and I teach 6th grade at the George B.

    Taking a Leap into Blogging Transcript

    Maria: My name is Maria Perryman and I teach 6th grade at the George B. Armstrong School of International Studies in Chicago.

    Good morning. Make sure you're sitting with your partner that you're going to work with.

    My "Getting Better Together" project this year is on technology with an emphasis on blogging.

    Our purpose today is to figure out what is a blog, why do people write blogs, and what makes a blog different from other web pages.

    As I'm thinking about myself as an educator for 30 years, I'm not technologically savvy as my students are.

    Okay, so he's showing you how to get into the settings.

    I wanted to make sure that I was able to teach my students how to use technology for learning and not just for social purposes.

    Are you in? There you go.

    I started out on this journey pretty much by myself and I realized I wasn't getting anywhere.

    Speaker 2 Fem: Hi Maria.

    Speaker 3 Male: Hi Maria, how are you doing?

    Maria: So I reached out to 2 other Teaching Channel laureates.

    Speaker 2 Fem: I do keep an ongoing list of blogs that I want to write ...

    Maria: They started helping me gain confidence in blogging and we talked about how to bring my students into the process.

    Speaker 3 Male: I think it's about having an authentic audience, people who are really reading it to see what they have to say. I would encourage you to be sure you give your students the time to read one another's blogs and respond to them.

    Maria: That really boosted my confidence because I had someone there.

    This is an example of my blog. I've never blogged before.

    Leading up to today I had them read my blog post and I had them respond to it.

    There is a link in there of me talking with another teacher colleague from the Teaching Channel who got my confidence up where I felt like I could write a blog and I wanted you guys to come on the journey with me.

    We just began blogging this past week. We practiced using the paper blog. They chose, "What's Your Favorite Food" and they read them afterwards. They responded using Post-It Notes. Once that happened for them they were excited because it wasn't formal writing and instead of it just being written for me to see, I think that makes a big difference as well.

    Speaker 4: It said, "The broad red brush [inaudible 00:02:57]. Where's the heart supposed to be?"

    Maria: My students just finished reading "Stargirl" by Jerry Spinelli and they truly enjoyed the book. They enjoy talking about the characters in the book, so today I'm taking a turn and bringing in a text and having them write from the characters perspective, not from their own. It took a twist and I was a little nervous about if they could turn that quick after just having a paper blog post and we dug right in.

    So you now have to become that character.

    For this lesson, the main reading standard is citing textual evidence to support the thoughts of the student in their blogging, and then for the writing standard, I was really looking at the production part of it because they are going to produce something that will definitely be published.

    So everyone's blog must have all of the following, so I want to read that.

    Speaker 5: The post should be at least 200 words.

    Maria: We started with the blog requirements and we chose a character that they wanted to blog about.

    Speaker 6: I chose Kevin ...

    Maria: Uh-huh (affirmative).

    Speaker 6: ... And I'm going to write about his relationship with Leo.

    Speaker 7: I'm doing Hillari and I'm going to write about how she didn't like how Stargirl's being different.

    Maria: Okay, anyone else? Alan?

    Alan: Leo Borlock.

    Maria: Leo Borlock. Tell me what you're going to write about?

    Alan: I'm going to write about how challenging his life was during the start of the book to the end.

    Maria: Woo, okay. So you're going to take it from beginning to end? Wow, okay. We're going to continue on now and you're going to go to kidblog.org. Those that are already in, you can tap on "new post" and you can get started.

    As you're working with your partner, discuss what you're going to be writing, get help from one another, and make sure you get some points written down. I'm going to give you maybe about 15 minutes.

    Speaker 9: I'm going to write how Stargirl changed bit by bit because she...

    Maria: Because my class periods are so short, a lot of the work has to be done at home and then we come back in and we work on it as a class and revise it.

    Speaker 10: What would you think that Hillari...

    Speaker 11: I don't think Hillari would like Stargirl because Hillari was still a nemesis to Stargirl. I think that she doesn't really care.

    Maria: Okay. Think about the "why". Why is she like that? Then talk about it from her perspective.

    Speaker 9: I think she wants attention because I don't think she really gets attention from her parents.

    Maria: As I walked around the room I noticed that the conversations were rich. Some of the conversations were so rich that they weren't writing and they weren't typing in anything.

    Did a lot of talking, now we should be able to put some words in.

    Time was ticking and I had to steer them back.

    Quick observation I made while you guys were working, what ...

    I noticed some groups were having a hard time with perspective.

    First person point of view ... Someone explain that. Yes, Michael.

    Michael: We're going to be using "I".

    Maria: Okay. You're going to be using "I", remember?

    Speaker 13: My?

    Maria: Mm-hmm (affirmative), "my". What else ...

    So we had to get them back on track and then they had to go back in and change some wording.

    Speaker 14: Okay, so I'm supposed to write, "Hello my name is Hillari Kimble ..."

    Speaker 7: "Hello, my name is Hillari Kimble. I have a boyfriend named Wayne Parr. He is popular for nothing."

    Speaker 15: When [Neil 00:07:12] first moved to Arizona ... Should I say, "When I first moved to Arizona?"

    Speaker 16: It's first person, I. You write "I thought things would be weird ..." or something.

    Speaker 15: Different.

    Speaker 16: I'm reading it ...

    Maria: Uh-huh (affirmative).

    Speaker 16: ... And then I'm translating some parts into my own words.

    Maria: Okay, so are you still going to go from the exposition to the [inaudible 00:07:31]?

    Speaker 16: I think I'm just going to go halfway around.

    Maria: Okay.

    Speaker 16: I'm still thinking, to the college reunion where they break up and Stargirl disappears.

    Maria: Now remember, there's only 200 words.

    Speaker 16: Yeah, I'm going to write little details.

    Speaker 17: Okay, I think I have to have, "One day I [inaudible 00:07:55] ..."

    Speaker 10: One day I decided to go to school.

    Speaker 17: Correct.

    Speaker 18: An unusual girl named Stargirl [inaudible 00:08:06] wearing a dress.

    Speaker 19: Yeah, what dress is she wearing?

    Speaker 18: She was wearing a white dress.

    Maria: When I look at bringing in the writing standards to help out with reading, we usually do write, but it's in response to reading. This time, since they enjoy reading "Stargirl", this was a way that they could incorporate all of their thoughts and make it known, "This is how I feel this character was feeling at that particular time," with citing evidence from the text to support that.

    Alan: If I was Leo I should put my first expression was to drag the Spanish teacher to the window and said, "Look, she loves me," but with the expression that, if I was talking to a real person like that. I don't want to do it, copying off the book, because then that's just putting the book into a blog.

    Speaker 20: You should probably paraphrase it.

    Alan: Yeah. Then I met Kevin. You could say that.

    Speaker 20: Wait, at what age did [inaudible 00:09:10]?

    Alan: The first day of school, 11th grade.

    Speaker 20: So 11th grade?

    Alan: Actually, high school.

    Speaker 20: Yeah, 11th.

    Alan: Yeah. You've been through some weird times ...

    Speaker 20: Weird times.

    Alan: ... Together. But then my best friend fell in love with her.

    Speaker 20: Yeah, but you didn't fall in love with her though, because first, Stargirl, first Stargirl was-

    Alan: But then my best friend started hanging out with her.

    Speaker 20: Yeah.

    Maria: I want someone to share out what they have written so far. Ask the person that's sharing out, maybe one or two questions from this peer question form.

    One of the support tools I gave my students was the peer editing question sheet. That was to keep them on track, to keep them on focus.

    Speaker 21: The title is "Kevin's Relationship". I have a best friend named Leo. We have been best friends since 11th grade and we've been through some weird times together. The worst was when Stargirl Carraway came to Mica High, like the time she came to school with the long dress and the ukulele, and the pet rat named Cinnamon. But then my best friend started hanging out with her and soon fell in love with her.

    Maria: Questions? Go ahead. Just ask.

    Speaker 22: I think Leo was jealous. Do you think you were jealous when Kevin had fallen in love with Stargirl?

    Speaker 21: Yeah.

    Maria: [inaudible 00:10:47], use your peer editing questions. We want to help him move along in his blog and help him to write more, okay?

    We had a moment where a question was asked from the peer editing form and the student had to ask, wait a minute, what are you talking about?

    Speaker 23: Do you have a connection to your blog?

    Speaker 21: Actually I do because ... Wait. Am I Kevin or me?

    Speaker 23: Do you have any connection to your blog?

    Maria: I thought that was really neat because he wanted clarification on it to answer this.

    Speaker 24: After reading the blog, what would you like to know more about?

    Speaker 21: I would like to know more about what Kevin was doing while the story was focusing on Leo and Stargirl, what was Kevin doing?

    Maria: After the finished product, my students are going to be required to to read 3 different blog posts and comment on those blogs and encourage each other to write more.

    Speaker 25: I was a girl who had many feelings and many things I was trying to express. I was different than all the girls ...

    Maria: The next time I try this blogging process, I want to have more student samples. I had my example of my blog, but I needed to show them a character perspective blog and maybe that would've helped them.

    I wonder what this is about?

    I want my students to have a love of reading and I believe using literature as a form of blogging, writing and responding to it, will help a student to want to read more. That's what my blogging journey with my students is all about.

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School Details

Armstrong Elementary School
8601 White Horse Road
Greenville SC 29617
Population: 425

Data Provided By:



Maria Perryman
English Language Arts / 6 / Teacher



All Grades / All Subjects / Tch Tools

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, All Subjects, Class Culture

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, ELA, Class Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Students / Class Culture